Tanzania’s Salim Ahmed Salim to lead Commonwealth Observer Group for Rwanda Presidential Elections
A Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) will be present during Rwanda’s Presidential Elections due to be held on 9 August 2010. The COG will be led by former Tanzania Prime Minister Dr Salim Ahmed Salim.
The Group was constituted by the Commonwealth Secretary-General at the invitation of the National Electoral Commission of Rwanda.
“Rwanda is the newest member of the Commonwealth and we are very pleased to observe these important elections”, the Secretary-General said. He went on, “Democracy is a key pillar of the Commonwealth, and the credible conduct of a country’s election is an integral and vital element of the democratic process.”
The Group’s mandate is to observe the preparations for the election; the polling, counting and results process and the overall electoral environment. The Team is to assess the conduct of the process as a whole and, where appropriate, make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework in Rwanda.
The Group is tasked to act impartially and independently, and to conduct itself according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.
The Group’s report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of Rwanda, the National Electoral Commission and political parties, and eventually to all Commonwealth Governments.
The Commonwealth Observer Group will comprise 13 eminent persons, including the Chair. The team will arrive in Rwanda on 2 August 2010 and stay until 16 August 2010.
The full composition of the Group:
Chair: H.E Dr Salim Ahmed Salim
Former Prime Minister
Mr Sabihuddin Ahmed
Former Permanent Secretary
Mr Art Wright
Brig. Gen. (Retd.) Francis Agyemfra
Dr Leith Dunn
Head of Institute for Gender and Development Studies
University of the West Indies, Jamaica
Mr Ceasar Handa
Mr Samuel Tembenu
Mr Mokshanand Dowarkasing
Former Member of Parliament
Mrs Simea Avei Meafou
Assistant Electoral Commissioner
Dr Christiana Thorpe
Chief Electoral Commissioner
Mr J C Weliamuna
Executive Director, Transparency International Sri Lanka
Ms Adelle Roopchand
Trinidad and Tobago
Ms Kaye Oliver
The Commonwealth assists countries with international trade, debt, finance, and economic and legal advice.